The Kiwanis Classic 15k and 5k race looks like a nice event. The course for each race is entirely within the grounds of the North Carolina Arboretum on Sunday morning, May 15th. The race organizers are calling this race the Biltmore/Kiwanis Classic.
To avoid any potential confusion, let me point out that this race does not take place at the Biltmore Estate. It takes place at the North Carolina Arboretum.
The Biltmore/Kiwanis Classic had been held for years on the Biltmore Estate. But after the 2010 race, the Biltmore Estate decided that it wasn’t logistically feasible to continue hosting the race on the estate grounds. The race organizers found another nice venue at the Arboretum for the 15k/5k race pair that had historically been run on the third Sunday in May.
I have a bit of a concern about the fact that they’re still calling this the “Biltmore/Kiwanis” race for a couple of reasons. Because of this race’s legacy, many casual runners might see the name and register for the race. Not everyone pays attention to all the background information about the Asheville racing scene. They may have no clue the Biltmore race has been discontinued. When they see the “Biltmore Kiwanis Classic 15k and 5k” they’ll think “this is the good old Biltmore race we know and love – sign me up!” Only to be disappointed to learn that it’s not the race they thought it was.
The 15k course is a combination of pavement, wide gravel road and some double-track semi-technical trail (Owl Ridge and Hard Times for those of you familiar with the Arboretum Trails). It’s almost impossible to have a 15k course completely on the Arboretum grounds without covering the same ground twice so there’s a significant chunk of the course that is repeated. The 5k course is pavement and gravel roads with nothing technical.